5 Dollar-Store Halloween Costume Hacks

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Never mind the pre-made costumes that stores have on their shelves. Here are 5 fun, creative and absolutely easy-to-make costumes with the most affordable materials imaginable. Trick or Cheap!

Things You'll Need

  • Robot:
  • 2 Silver sun shades for the car
  • Hot glue gun
  • 12 inch plastic basket
  • Colored duct tape in red, yellow, black, and turquoise
  • Black 1/4 inch tape
  • Dark shirt and pants that fit child
  • Scissors
  • X-acto Knife
  • Wax paper
  • Carmen Miranda:
  • Rectangular plastic tablecloths in 3-4 assorted colors
  • Plastic fruit
  • Fake flowers
  • Hot glue gun
  • Large beaded jewelry
  • Duct tape
  • Apron
  • Small basket with a handle
  • Scarf to tie hair with
  • Ribbon
  • Crop top
  • Scissors
  • Spaghetti with Meatballs:
  • Yellow yarn
  • Plastic baseballs
  • Air dry clay
  • Yellow fabric or ribbon
  • Double stick tape
  • Needle and thread
  • Brown craft paint
  • 1/2 inch sponge brush
  • Scissors
  • Shackled Ghost:
  • Pipe insulation or pool noodle
  • White glue
  • Scissors
  • Black fabric
  • Mask
  • Garden Party:
  • Fake flowers
  • Skirt
  • Top
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
Carmen Miranda shaking her maracas.
Carmen Miranda shaking her maracas. (Image: Carmen Miranda Costume)

Robot Reboot

Step 1

Robot: 2 Silver sun shades for the car Hot glue gun 12 inch plastic basket Colored duct tape in red, yellow, black, and turquoise Black 1/4 inch tape Dark shirt and pants that fit child Scissors X-acto Knife Wax paper

Robot Final Costume
Robot Final Costume (Image: Robot Costume)

Step 2

With an X-acto knife, cut holes for a head and arms out of a cardboard box. Duct tape sides and flaps in place.

Make holes.
Make holes. (Image: Robot Step 1)

Step 3

Wrap box with sun shade as if you are wrapping a present. Hot glue flaps down. With the X-acto knife cut out the arm and head hole.

Cover box with sun shade.
Cover box with sun shade. (Image: Robot Step 2)

Step 4

Take a plastic basket and cut the bottom ridge off. Wrap with the other sun shade, letting the bottom edge hang a couple inches past the bottom of the basket. Trace the top circumference and cut a circle for the top. Hot glue everything in place.

Make a robot head.
Make a robot head. (Image: Robot Step 3)

Step 5

Create buttons, eyes, and panels with duct tape on a piece of wax paper. Trace circles for the eyes and cut out the middle so the wearer can see.

Tape on features.
Tape on features. (Image: Robot Step 4)

Step 6

Duct tape strips of sun shade to arms and pant legs.

Robot at the ready.
Robot at the ready. (Image: Robot Costume )

Carmen Miranda

Step 1

Carmen Miranda: Rectangular plastic tablecloths in 3-4 assorted colors Plastic fruit Fake flowers Hot glue gun Large beaded jewelry Duct tape Apron Small basket with a handle Scarf to tie hair with Ribbon Crop top Scissors

Doing the cha cha cha.
Doing the cha cha cha. (Image: Carmen Miranda Costume)

Step 2

Cut various colored plastic tablecloths into three inch wide strips.

Cut strips of tablecloth.
Cut strips of tablecloth. (Image: Carmen Miranda Step 1)

Step 3

Starting from the bottom, ruffle the three inch strips and tape it in a horizontal line across the bottom of the apron. Make another row above the first making sure the next overlapping ruffles covers the last duct taped line. Add another color of ruffle as you move towards the top of the apron. Make your last ruffle right before the waistline.

Rows of ruffles.
Rows of ruffles. (Image: Carmen Miranda Step 2)

Step 4

Hot glue the basket to the top center of the hairband and hot glue fruit and flowers in the basket. Reinforce the basket to the hairband by tying to the basket with ribbon. Tying a scarf around the headband will help steady the basket when wearing the costume.

A basket of fruit and flowers.
A basket of fruit and flowers. (Image: Carmen Miranda Step 3)

Step 5

Wear large beaded jewelry, a tie front top, and carry maracas to complete the look.

Complete the look.
Complete the look. (Image: Carmen Miranda Costume)

Shackled Ghost

Step 1

Shackled Ghost: Pipe insulation foam or pool noodle White glue Scissors Black fabric Mask

A simple project a child can help with.
A simple project a child can help with. (Image: Shackled Ghost Costume)

Step 2

Cut insulation foam into 1/2 inch rounds.

Cut circles.
Cut circles. (Image: Shacked Ghost Step 1)

Step 3

Split half of them at the perforation line and leave the other half in their intact rounds. Link them together alternating whole rounds and split rounds. Glue the split rounds together again.

Link then glue.
Link then glue. (Image: Shacked Ghost Step 2)

Step 4

Make a long linked chain.

Complete the chain.
Complete the chain. (Image: Shacked Ghost Step 3)

Step 5

Pair with a black cape and a spooky mask and drape the chain loosely around the costume wearer's neck.

Add spooky touches.
Add spooky touches. (Image: Shacked Ghost Costume)

Garden Party

Step 1

Garden Party: Fake flowers Skirt Top Scissors Hot glue gun

Add flora to your Halloween night.
Add flora to your Halloween night. (Image: Garden Party Costume)

Step 2

Remove the stem from the flower and cut the plastic connector off the back of the flower. From the inside, hot glue the petals together so the inner flowers don't fall out.

Trim back and glue petals together.
Trim back and glue petals together. (Image: Gardn Party Step 1)

Step 3

Hot glue flowers and leaves carpeting the front of a shirt and skirt. If you have the time and enough flowers to do the back, this is an option as well but start on the front just in case you run out of flowers or time.

Hot glue flowers and leaves to outfit.
Hot glue flowers and leaves to outfit. (Image: Garden Party)

Step 4

Add a flower and a couple of spritzes of perfume to your hair and it's a party.

A garden wherever you go.
A garden wherever you go. (Image: Garden Party Costume)

Spaghetti with Meatballs

Step 1

Spaghetti with Meatballs: Yellow yarn Double stick tape Plastic baseballs Air dry clay Yellow fabric or ribbon Needle and thread Brown craft paint 1/2 inch sponge brush Scissors

Spaghetti with Meatballs
Spaghetti with Meatballs (Image: Spaghetti with meatballs costume)

Step 2

Unwrap the skein of yarn and spread it width wise leaving the loops intact. Sew the loops to a ribbon or piece of fabric by hand or machine. Make 3 or 4 ribbon lengths that fit around your child's body.

Sew yarn to ribbon
Sew yarn to ribbon (Image: Spagetti with meatballs Step 1)

Step 3

Take plastic whiffle balls and cover them with air dry clay. Paint brown with craft paint and a sponge brush.

Paint meatballs.
Paint meatballs. (Image: Spaghetti with meatballs Step 2)

Step 4

Tape meatballs to the noodles with double sick tape. Fasten noodles to the wearer with safety pins. Cut a red bib into a red sauce shape and the costume is complete.

Dinner is served.
Dinner is served. (Image: Spaghetti with meatballs Costume)

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